New student government leadership lay out goals

Mina Kian and Jael Kerandi recently sat down with the Minnesota Daily to discuss dining contract, advocacy and goals.

Student Body President Mina Kian, left, and Vice President Jael Kerandi pose for a portrait on Monday, March 25 outside of Lind Hall on East Bank. The newly elected pair aim to advocate for increased student wages on campus, enhance campus safety resources and go against tuition increases during their time in leadership at the University.

Elle Moulin

Student Body President Mina Kian, left, and Vice President Jael Kerandi pose for a portrait on Monday, March 25 outside of Lind Hall on East Bank. The newly elected pair aim to advocate for increased student wages on campus, enhance campus safety resources and go against tuition increases during their time in leadership at the University.

Niamh Coomey

The Minnesota Daily recently sat down with the newly-elected Minnesota Student Association President-designate Mina Kian and Vice President-designate Jael Kerandi to discuss their goals and future initiatives for the 2019-20 school year.

How are you feeling after winning the election? 

Kian: I’m really proud of the way that we handled everything. I’m happy with the way that we managed to engage with the campus community, and I think it’s going to continue from here.

Kerandi: I think it’s super exciting. It’s definitely energizing to see the support from the student body.

What main issues do you hope to focus on first? 

Kian: We ran on a campaign of continued advocacy. A lot of the initiatives that we will be working on in the upcoming year are really founded in steps that we’re taking or have taken this past year. I think the advocacy that we do on our dining contract is coming up, we’re working on a few steps of that project right now. … Should we be able to move away from our contract with Aramark, we’re hopefully going to be able to look at a different dining model in the upcoming year. 

MSA is currently in the process of setting up our internal policies for how to handle situations of sexual misconduct. We really want this to be a model that other student [organizations] can choose to opt into in the upcoming year.

A lot of the work that we’re doing on campus climate is ongoing. We really want to make sure to kick off the year with a strong start and make sure that people who enter into our campus really understand that we value community.

What do you expect out of the transition period into your new position? 

Kerandi: I think, naturally, it’s really nice that Mina has gone through it. And she’s done the exact same thing, so she has an understanding of what it takes. But because the elections are so early, we have from now until June to figure out what exactly those duties look like and what we need to do.

How do you hope to continue to engage student opinions in your new position? 

Kerandi: The nice thing I think [that] we got from the election process was hearing back about what’s working and what’s not working. A lot of the feedback that I’ve received I’m really excited to implement and see how that works.

What are your ultimate goals from this position and how do you hope to leave the University at the end of your term?

Kian: Advocacy is really about celebrating small successes. I think that’s a mentality that people need to keep to have a healthy relationship with the work that they’re doing. … Making sure that MSA becomes even more accessible to the full campus community would probably be the theme that I want to keep in mind throughout the entire process. … I would really want to make sure that people feel that this is an organization that they can go to when they want to see change on campus. 

This interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.